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I liked the guy.  He was looking to purchase some commercial property and he invited me to come along for the search.  Why he invited me was a little puzzling?  In my day job I lead a church denomination.  Well, actually, it’s more than a day job.  It’s a full time job.  In fact, it’s a vocation.  That’s code for “it’ll take more than 40 hours a week to do it well”.  If you are a pastor you have a vocation.  You don’t just work 40 hours per week.  If you are a teacher you have a vocation.  Trust me—I know,  you wish you could just work 40 hours per week during the school year.  The idea of “vocation” is “calling”.  You do it because you want to leave the world in a better place than which you found it.  So, you shape lives.  You help with brokeness.  You deal with dysfunction.  You craft futures.  You are doing more than a job.  I digress…he wanted me to come along with him as he looked at a commercial property he hoped to purchase.   I don’t have a lot of experience in purchasing commercial real estate.


He was pretty savvy so my coming alongside was really just as an extra set of eyes.  He talked of an “environmental assessment” needing to be done.  I figured out pretty quickly what he was speaking of.  There are a ton of things going on in and around the building that are really part of the environment but not part of the construction.  If you don’t pay attention to that you’ll land up with some nasty surprises that really aren’t nasty to most well off entrepreneurs, just expensive.  He told me he didn’t really like surprises.

I got to thinking about life and then beyond my life to the environment around my life.  It moved beyond weather and climate to life situation and “environment”.

1.  I am a man, how does that play out in the environment of North America in 2013?   It does affect me…

2.  I am a Christian pastor.  Some in my environment love that and affirm that.  Some couldn’t care less.  Some actively react to the identity.  How does that affect me?

3.  I am a husband, married 33 years.  I believe in the sacredness of marriage as does my wife.  But many in my environment don’t see it the same way.  They don’t attack us, but it does affect us.

4.  I am a father, but my children are not young any more.  Their “need” for their dad is certainly much different than it was 30 years ago.

5.  I am certainly into the “2nd half” of my journey.  I am not as resilient to the demands of daily life.   I don’t sleep in like I used to I just get up and wander around wearily trying to “shake off” the over exertions of the previous day or two or three.

6.  I don’t have an I phone.  Reason?  Probably it’s connected to the reason why I phone one of my kids when my desk top freezes up and the standard “control alt delete” function doesn’t unfreeze the unit.   But I do have a Blackberry.

7.  I believe in God and try to pay attention to Him.  A lot of people believe in divinity, more than we first think.  Quite a few believe in divinity but dismiss a belief in a God of the Bible.  I understand some of their dismissiveness.  But that’s between them and God.    When they attack me for their issues with the God of the Bible it does affect me…

8.  I tend to be “logical” in my thinking and some things in life are “illogical”.  I am not quite Mr. Spock, but there are times when his phrase “highly illogical Captain” resonates in my head as I look at or listen to a situation.

9.  I don’t manage stress as well as I used to, and part of that is because my life has more stress than it used to?  Some you can control, some you have to endure, and some you wonder about…

10.  and oh yeah, I live in Vancouver.  It rains a lot in Vancouver.  That’s definitely “environmental”.

What’s going on in your “environment”?